Al Horford returns to the Boston Celtics in a trade that brings Kemba Walker to the Oklahoma City Thunder

Al Horford returns to the Boston Celtics in a trade that brings Kemba Walker to the Oklahoma City Thunder

The Boston Celtics traded Kemba Walker and their 2021 first-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder for a package that includes Al Horford, the teams announced Friday.

Along with Walker and the No. 16 overall pick in 2021, the Celtics also sent a 2025 second-round pick to the Thunder in exchange for Horford, Moses Brown and a 2023 second-round pick, sources said.

The transaction comes after a disappointing season for Walker, who missed the final two games of the Celtics’ first-round loss to the Brooklyn Nets with a bruise to a bone in his left knee. After Boston’s elimination, Walker said he needed to focus on regaining his health after dealing with left knee problems for most of 2020 that led to him missing the start of the 2020-21 season. He missed 29 regular season games in total.

The four-time All-Star has two years and more than $ 73 million left on his contract.

Horford will rejoin the Celtics, where he played from 2016 to 2019, participating in the All-Star Game in 2018. He played well in 28 games for Oklahoma City, averaging 14.2 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 27.9 minutes per game, before he and the Thunder mutually agreed not to play for the remainder of the season to make sure they could find a new assignment for him this offseason. He will likely be Boston’s starting center next season.

Horford thanked the Thunder staff and teammates at a tweet, adding: “While it was brief, it was first class throughout and my family and I are extremely grateful.”

Horford, 35, has two years and $ 53.5 million left on his contract, with $ 41 million guaranteed.

Brown averaged 8.6 points and 8.9 rebounds in his second NBA season after finding a role in Oklahoma City and signing a multi-year contract in March.

The Thunder now have three first-round picks in this year’s draft. Along with the Celtics’ pick, they have the Miami Heat’s No. 18 overall pick and are tied for fourth with the best odds in Tuesday’s draft lottery.

Information from ESPN’s Tim Bontemps and Royce Young was used in this story.

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